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Copyright © 2010 by John Sandford
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions. Published simultaneously in Canada
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Sandford, John, date.
Storm prey / John Sandford.
eISBN : 978-1-101-18771-5
1. Davenport, Lucas (Fictitious character)—Fiction. 2. Police—Minnesota—Minneapolis—Fiction. 3. Minneapolis (Minn.)—Fiction. I. Title. PS3569.A516S’.54—dc22
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
While the author has made every effort to provide accurate telephone numbers and Internet addresses at the time of publication, neither the publisher nor the author assumes any responsibility for errors, or for changes that occur after publication. Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
THREE OF THEM, hard men carrying nylon bags, wearing work jackets, Carhartts and Levi’s, all of them with facial hair. They walked across the parking structure to the steel security door, heads swiveling, checking the corners and the overheads, steam flowing from their mouths, into the icy air, one of the men on a cell phone.
As they got to the door, it popped open, and a fourth man, who’d been on the other end of the cell-phone call, let them through. The fourth man was tall and thin, dark-complected, with a black brush mustache. He wore a knee-length black raincoat that he’d bought at a Goodwill store two days earlier, and black pants. He scanned the parking structure, saw nothing moving, pulled the door shut, made sure of the lock.
“This way,” he snapped.
Inside, they moved fast, reducing their exposure, should someone unexpectedly come along. No one should, at the ass-end of the hospital, at fifteen minutes after five o’clock on a bitterly cold winter morning. They threaded through a maze of service corridors until the tall man said, “Here.”
Here was a storage closet. He opened it with a key. Inside, a pile of blue, double-extra-large orderly uniforms sat on a medical cart.
The hard men dumped their coats on the floor and pulled the uniforms over their street clothes. Not a big disguise, but they weren’t meant to be seen close-up—just enough to slip past a video camera. One of them, the biggest one, hopped up on the cart, lay down and said, “Look, I’m dead,” and laughed at his joke. The tall man could smell the bourbon on the joker’s breath.
“Shut the fuck up,” said one of the others, but not in an unkindly way.
The tall man said, “Don’t be stupid,” and there was nothing kind in his voice. When they were ready, they looked at each other and the tall man pulled a white cotton blanket over the man on the cart, and one of the men said, “Let’s do it.”
“Check yourself ...”
“We don’t hurt anyone,” the tall man said. The sentiment reflected not compassion, but calculation: robbery got X amount of attention, injuries got X-cubed.
“Yeah, yeah ...”
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